For a brief moment in the late ’70s, it seemed as if the Nuns might be the catalyst for a successful new wave/punk scene in San Francisco. Instigated by Alejandro Escovedo as a college project, the band quickly earned media praise and garnered a rabid local cult following. But time quickly passed them by. Aggressive musicianship and demanding vocals — especially Jennifer Miro’s ice-cold, intense singing — make the first album (which the group had to reform to record) well worth hearing. Lyrically, the Nuns spoke to the decadent side of life as well as anyone, with such tales as “Wild,” “Child Molester” and “Suicide Child.”
The Nuns inexplicably reformed again, with much the same lineup, for another, more innocuous, album six years later. Miro and Jeff Olener share the vocals on Rumania, a sophisticated dance record that generally resembles a tasteful version of the group Berlin. Although he’s evidently serious, Olener’s idiotic melodramatics suggest Fred Schneider as a sarcastic lounge sleaze, while the far more talented Miro melds nicely with the lightweight synthesizer concoctions. Enjoy her solo turns here, but ignore the rest.